Pension plans in America are a soup of letters and numbers. 401ks – IRAs – Roth IRAs. The tangled safety net for retirement has been in a constant state of repair, but new proposals by the Bush administration are offering some of the most radical alterations yet. No more tucking away pre-tax money. No more taxes on withdrawals. A new Personal Savings Account that comes restriction-free.
Sound too good to be true? Some are warning that these proposals are part of a long term shift away from institutional plans and a move toward personal responsibility for pension saving. The potential downside: give the middle class control of its own money, and they’ll likely do anything but save it. Planning for retirement…all by yourself.
Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College
Chris Edwards, director of fiscal policies at the Cato institute.